High School Hot Shot: Reedley’s Ryan Warkentin

Local Sports

REEDLEY, Calif. (KGPE) – If you’ve ever watched Reedley High senior running back Ryan Warkentin play under the Friday night lights, you’ve noticed his toughness and physicality, something he credits his older brother for.

“Me and my brother fighting when I was younger,” Warkentin said laughing. “We used to fight a lot. We don’t do it as much anymore, but we were always wrestling, we were always going at it.”

“You see the strength, which is fun,” explained Reedley head coach, Tony Gates. “You guys see it on Friday night, but we see it Monday through Friday at seven in the morning in the weight room, so it’s fun to see that culminate out on the field.”

Warkentin is a machine when he gets the ball in his hands.

Through seven games, Warkentin has rushed for 1,263 yards with 20 touchdowns. However, he doesn’t want to take the credit.

“I gotta thank my O-line, one hundred percent,” Warkentin said. “Those guys, man, they work in the weight room like no one’s business. Our center squats 495 and I just love that man. I worked a little bit in the offseason, but I think it’s more them than me.”

“[Warkentin] maybe the most humble kid I’ve been around, and he knows it’s the big guys up front and it’s the other 34 kids on the team that help him,” Gates explained.

That humility was developed at a young age, as Warkentin helped on his family farm.

“We ran this grape stand right in front of our house,” the running back said. “I’d pick them and put them on the little work truck that we had and we’d drive them up, put them in front. It definitely gave me a work ethic that what you put in, is what you get out of it.”

Warkentin spent most of his time playing baseball and water polo. He picked up football as a sophomore and recently received his first Division I offer from Valparaiso in Indiana.

“It meant so much, like I could have a tangible thing that I could be proud of,” Warkentin said about his scholarship offer.

“I do see him as a Saturday kid, I really do,” Gates added. “I see him as a contributor and anywhere he goes, he’s going to pick up the offense, he’s going to soak up what the coaches are telling him.”

Warkentin is hoping more Division I offers will come in, and maybe even one from a school that’s just about 30 miles northwest of Reedley.

“Man, that would be a dream. Be a local kid and get to play at Fresno State,” Warkentin said. “That’s just something that I’d love to happen.”

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